Born in St. Petersburg in 1844. Died at the country estate of Borok (now Polenovo, Tula region) in 1927. Polenov took his first drawing lessons from P.P. Chistyakov and later studied at St. Petersburg University and the Academy of Arts simultaneously. After that, the Academy sent him on a pensioner’s trip to Europe. He worked in France, Italy and Germany. Upon his return, he was bestowed the title of Academician for his paintings on French history. While in France and working with Repin en plein air, Polenov began to paint landscape sketches. In 1876, he fought in the Balkan war as a volunteer, and in 1877 published Diary of a Russian Volunteer, which he illustrated himself. The year 1878 was a landmark one for the artist: he moved to Moscow and became a member of the Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions. From that time, he actively participated in the work of the Abramtsevo Circle. In 1878, Polenov created his most renowned painting A Moscow Yard that determined his transition to open-air landscape painting. However, he did not abandon the historical theme altogether. After traveling across the Near East in 1881–1882, the artist executed a large painting Christ and the Sinner and a series of paintings From the Life of Christ. During 1882–1895, as the instructor of the landscape class at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, he became the teacher of K.A. Korovin, I.I. Levitan and S.A. Vinogradov. In 1890, Polenov acquired the country estate of Borok, and built a house, studio and church there, which he designed himself. After his death, the house was turned into a museum.

A Moscow Yard - 1878, oil on canvas. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Klyazma River, Zhukovka - 1887, oil on canvas. Nizhny Novgorod State Museum of Art
On Tiberias (Genisaret) Lake - 1888, oil on canvas. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
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